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Fijian stakeholders prepare for new partnership agreement

March 12, 2019 3:04 pm

The Government has adopted a collaborative approach towards the Post Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

It has partnered with non-government agencies and the business sector.

A two-day consultation was organized in Suva by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week and facilitated by Fiji’s Ambassador to Brussels, Deo Saran.

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Signed in 2000, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement has been the framework for cooperative development and relation between the African Caribbean and Pacific group of states and the European Union.

The now-expired agreement covered 3 key pillars of cooperation namely, development cooperation, political cooperation and economic and trade cooperation.

Fiji’s own development with the EU is largely derived from this agreement.

Fiji has been part of the negotiation process in Brussels for the new successor agreement and had ongoing consultations with the Fijian Government agencies.

This also includes non-state agencies to update them on the process and how the negotiations will affect various sectors in Fiji.

While opening the workshop, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Major General (Ret’d) Ioane Naivalurua says it’s an innovative platform for the agencies to exchange information, ideas and experiences to effectively advance Fiji’s interests in the impending negotiations.

Naivalurua says the European Union is and remains an important partner and friend to Fiji and the Pacific region.

He adds that Fiji has and continues to benefit, from its longstanding relationship with the European Union, as well as bilaterally with its member states.

The 2020 Cotonou Agreement offers us an opportunity to renew and reinvigorate our relations with the EU in line with our current and future development priorities.

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